- 20.7-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
- Up to 11 fps shooting with AE/AF, 5 fps with live view
- 4K video at up to 30p with 1.5x crop of sensor
- 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen
- 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder
- Bluetooth-enabled Wi-Fi (via Snapbridge app)
Nikon’s expanding Z-series line of cameras now includes its first APS-C option, the Nikon Z50.
Joining its full frame cousins, the Z6 and Z7, the Z50 is priced just below $850, which isn’t bad at all for a crop sensor mirrorless camera.
In fact, at that price point, the Nikon Z50 is on par with Canon’s EOS M6 Mark II, which goes for $849.00.
Its specs, which are outlined below, aren't mind-boggling by any stretch, but one shouldn't expect ground-breaking features in what Nikon has billed an entry-level camera designed for people who don't consider themselves heavy-duty photographers.
Let's take a closer look at this newest Z-series camera.
Nikon Z50 Specs
Additionally, the camera has multiple picture effects that can be added to photos in-camera, much like Instagram filters are used.
These filters can be applied to alter just the contrast and color of the shot, or they can be applied after the fact to RAW files via the camera's RAW conversion interface.
Of note among these specs are a couple of things.
First, the sensor is very closely related to the one in the Nikon D500, and it's back-illuminated, which improves its light-capturing power.
Second, the user interface is the exact same one as you find on the Z6 and Z7, so you get a high-end user experience without the high-end price tag.
Third, the touchscreen LCD tilts up by 90-degrees and folds down by 180-degrees, making it a front-facing screen for vloggers.
The problem is that with the screen folded down, any sort of stabilization device (i.e., a tripod or gimbal) will block the view of the screen.
Nikon Z50 Build & Buttons
Looking at the Z50, it looks an awful lot like a smaller version of the Z6 and Z7, and that's a good thing.
It has the same enormous viewfinder bump on the back (which is why the touchscreen LCD has to flip down) and a large, beefy grip that should offer excellent handling.
Ergonomically speaking, the Z50 seems like it will be just as easy and comfortable to handle as its cousins, and with weather-sealing that Nikon purports to be class-leading, it appears that this camera is made for rough-and-tumble weather.
The camera has dual control dials on top that offer expanded control over settings and features to get precise shots. Likewise, there are two Function buttons that can be customized.
There is a microphone port, which vloggers will love, but there is no headphone socket, which is kind of a bummer. See more specs in the video below by Jared Polin:
The viewfinder is a pretty standard 2.36-million-dot OLED outfit. The touchscreen LCD offers the ability to move the active autofocus point and to start tracking autofocus. It can be used to navigate the function menu and playback mode as well.
It does not, however, offer touchpad operation that allows you to move the autofocus point while the camera is held to your eye.
Nikon Z50 Lenses
Alongside the Z50, Nikon has also announced two DX-format lenses.
The first is a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 VR that's designed to be the kit lens option for the Z50.
The second is a 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR that greatly expands the focal range well into telephoto territory.
This looks like a good first crop sensor camera for the Z-series, but it isn't perfect.
The menu system is a little archaic and can be confusing, as can the effects and picture control modes (effects can only be applied when the photo is taken but control modes can be applied retroactively).
Personally, I think the biggest issue will be the price. Yes, it's cheaper than the Z6 and Z7, but it's billed as a camera for people that don't consider themselves photographers, but I don't know many photography newbies that want to drop $850 on a camera body.
If you’re ready to ditch your current camera and lenses and go all-in with the Nikon Z50, now’s the time to sell your gear.
There is a huge market for used cameras and lenses, and sites like MPB offer excellent prices and trade-in values for your old stuff.
What’s more, MPB makes it easy to get rid of old gear you no longer need. Just head to their website, fill out a form, and get an instant quote.
After that, they’ll pay for insured collection of the item and send you your money. It’s the easiest way to thin the herd of gear in your back while maximizing how much you get for it.
If you’re not familiar with MPB, check out my MPB review to see why they’re one of the top used camera gear companies around.